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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Update on Bigotry by the Bay

Yesterday's post certainly stirred up quite a lot of discussion (208 comments and counting!). Some commenters questioned whether I had the right to doubt Mr. Schwach's version of the events he described in his piece. To those who were so hesitant to question Mr. Schwach's credibility - even after seeing all of the inconsistencies I pointed out - check this out. Mayer Fertig of The Jewish Star has done a bit of reporting on the matter, and has come up with some interesting findings:
Schwach began his commentary with the by-now-trite observation that “more people have died in the name of religion than anything else in history.”

He then recounted several episodes to which he was an eyewitness, and which he used to bolster his underlying point — that the desire of Orthodox Jews to live largely separate from the greater community is “bad for Democracy,” as he put it in a telephone conversation with The Jewish Star on Monday afternoon.

On an early morning visit to the Borders book store on Central Ave “several months ago,” the retired public school teacher wrote, he encountered several Nassau County police vehicles parked in front. Inside, a former student of his, a clerk in the store, “told me that they found a note on the door that warned them that the store would be destroyed by fire if they continued to open on Saturdays.”

We take him at his word that this is what he was told. For the record though, Brad Ruter, the manager of Borders on Central Ave for the last 30 years, told The Jewish Star on Monday that he had no knowledge of such a threat, or any like it. A Merrick resident, Ruter said he’s watched the neighborhood change, but that business has remained steady throughout.
Ah. So the manager of the store for the past 30 years knows nothing of the supposed arson threat. Fascinating. He also has seen no discernible difference in business since the demographic shift in the Five Towns took place. To spell it out, even though Orthodox residents now make up a larger percentage of the community (Orthodox shoppers ostensibly being the ones Mr. Schwach claims are unhappy that the book store is open on Saturdays), business has nevertheless remained steady at the store. Doesn't seem to me like a community that is hell-bent on forcing a store to close because it does not conform to said community's religious beliefs.

There's more:
A few days later, Schwach wrote, he and his wife went into Carvel a few doors down where he witnessed, “an Orthodox man arguing with the Asian owner of the store, telling him that he needed a certificate from the local Orthodox Rabbi if he wanted to stay in business. The owner pointed to a framed document on the wall and told the man he already had a Kosher Certificate. The man told him that it wasn’t good enough and that if he didn’t pay for one from the local rabbi, nobody from the community would ever again come into his store.”

Three weeks later, Schwach wrote, “the store was closed. In my mind, that was worthy of the Mafia and the shakedown antics of the Chinatown gangs.”
By phone Schwach first insisted that he saw what he saw and it was patently obvious to him that the conversation he witnessed directly led to the store’s closing.

A few points: First, Schwach’s timeline is way off, which he conceded. Since the Carvel has been closed for at least a year, the incident he described couldn’t have happened a few days after the Borders threat, which he said took place “a few months ago.” He said both incidents could have occurred as long as two years ago.
Rabbi Yosef Eisen, Rabbinic Administrator of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway, told The Jewish Star the Vaad doesn’t employ sales people. “We have a firm policy,” he said. “We do not solicit hashgachas. People call the office and ask to make an appointment.” He called the Vaad’s marketing effort, such as it is, “a one-way street. Proprietors contact us and we service people interested in the Vaad hashgacha.”

Did Schwach witness someone discussing with the Carvel store owner the relative value of the local Vaad hashgacha versus the Kof-K, which provides a blanket hechsher to Carvel stores? We have no reason to call him a liar. He probably did see someone urging Carvel to “upgrade.” Nor would we have trouble believing that this person was coming on a too strongly. But to suggest that this isolated incident is somehow connected to the shutdown of the store is ludicrous. Schwach later conceded that he was interpreting the episode in the worst possible light, rather than offering the benefit of the doubt.

A frequent Central Ave shopper we spoke to yesterday offered a credible alternative explanation for Carvel’s demise on Central Ave. “In Carvel the service was slow, it was very crowded,” she said, adding, “it was very dirty, there was no natural daylight, the cakes were often stale and it was just a very unpleasant place to shop.”
In contrast, in her opinion, at Haagen Daaz nearby, “the service is quick, everything is always fresh, it’s a much bigger store with many tables, tons of sunlight, outdoor seating and always spotless.”

One person’s opinion, sure, but clearly the only explanation for Carvel’s closing was threats from the Kosher Mafia, right?
So not only was Mr. Schwach patently - and by his own admission - wrong about the timeline of events (Carvel closed around two years ago, while Mr. Schwach claims in his original story that the alleged shakedown occurred just months ago), he also admits that he could have misinterpreted the alleged incident completely. That fact, coupled with the improbability of Carvel being "forced" to close by the local "kosher mafia" while other, superior ice cream stores with similar hashgochas stay open (the kosher mafia types enjoy Haagen Dasz ice cream better than Carvel, perhaps?) takes him claim into the realm of the absurd.

So now we see for ourselves, thanks to Mr. Fertig's work, that Mr. Schwach used wild and untrue accusations as a device to malign and slander an entire community in one fell swoop. Or, as Mr. Fertig succinctly puts it,
Seeking to bolster a rather un-neighborly, anti-Orthodox agenda, he is taking aim at the issues that concern him by, figuratively, shooting arrows at a tree before drawing the circles around them.
I think Mr. Schwach's credibility is what's shot here.

121 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Schwach used wild and untrue accusations as a device to malign and slander an entire community in one fell swoop.

It's kind of scary how many people were willing to accept his diatribe at face value.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree. every time an issue comes up about the changing demographics, the diatribes are always the same; walking in the streets, stores being forced to close on saturday, orthodox people being pushy and snobby and talking on their cell phone while driving and double parking and cursing out meter maids. the list goes on and on.

people are people. some are nice some are mean, some are friendly some arent. some are smart, some are stupid, some funny, some not so much.

some orthodox walk in the streets, double park, talk on their cellphones, yell at the metermaids, and wont eat in haagen dazs - are these really good reasons for all the vitriol and hatred out there?

can someone please enlighten me?

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good reasons?

Since when did bigotry need a good reason?

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking on the cell phone while driving is a horrendous habit that many take for granted. I expect it from the uneducated and it hurts me when I see a frum woman driving a minivan with 6 kids in the back, as she attempts to maneuver into a parking spot on Central while she is jabbering on her cell phone. The increase of car accidents over the past few years are a result of the use of cell phones while driving. It sickens me when I see ANYONE talking on the cell while driving, it hurts me when it's a frum person.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

talking on a cell phone while driving is a tough habit to break, especially, when people excuse it as saying its not that distracting, or no more distracting than the six kids in the back seat.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I have to wonder why Mr Scwack lied when he had to think it would be so easy to prove he was lying.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, Mr. Shwach probably should have realized how easy it would be to disprove his stories but then ... this is probably the first time more than 6 people have read an issue of "The Wave".
This aint exactly an anti-orthodox rant in a "real" publication like the ,NY Times ... Oh wait, that was last week ...
: )

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:56p.m. ref. can anyone enlighten me why so much vitriol and hatred?
Wow, let me say being an Irish jew I have seen both sides of the coin.
The frist rule of being a jew is to be BORN one. The outsiders don't get that it is the torah or bible that a jew lives their life by. The laws handed down by G-d.
The church doesnot say to people that Jesus was a jew. That he lived by the laws of the Torah,(for most of his life) and jews donot SHARE with out-siders the laws of the Torah. The inner peace I find among the chosen people is just that -inner peace.
I was at a BarMitzvah back in 1991 where the Rabbi told the congregation not to look to outsiders, to pull back.
Jews are taught to stick together, to help each other out, the outsiders see how you help each other,and can't help but wonder why won't they help me out? Then they realize they are not a jew, and that is the(only) reason no help will come, then anger sets in and bigotry begins.
The above blogger 7:50am, anger at anyone talking on a cell phone while driving, HURTS me when it a frum person, again you are drawing a line in the sand of the us vs. them.
When I was young I would watch cowboy and indian movies. The indians were always the bad guys. After seeing the movie "Dances with Wolfes" I wished I had known the history of the American Indians, I wished they had won the war. I again wonder if people really knew the history and laws of the Torah if life could be better for all. With Rabbis' telling to keep to ourselves it will be a fat chance that others will know the inner peace of the Jewish people. I can't tell you how many times I have heard from outsiders saying I just don't get it, I just don't understand.....
HOw come this or why do they do that? Being an Irish Jew I am neither here or there, so I sit on the fence and try to explain to both sides were the other is coming from. sign me the Irish Jew.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous G said...

Sometimes I can't help myself.

So for the record: No information was found to discredit the events as presented in the piece.

Speaking for myself, I never said that his viewing of said events was correct. Just that saying they never happened and where crated from whole cloth seemed overly reactionary.

-- out of curiosity, has any info been gathered on the alleged rock throwing?

10:05 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


So for the record: No information was found to discredit the events as presented in the piece.


Let's see, the longtime manager at Borders denied any knowledge of the event. Mr. Schwach's timeline has been completely discredited - and he admits that when confronted. The Kashrut organization in question roundly denies ever soliciting new customers. Mr. Schwach himself never reported the very serious alleged rock-throwing to the police or in his paper at the time - even though he claims to know which Yeshiva the biys came from (a "Yeshiva on Reads Lane", where no Yeshivas actually reside).

So yes, much information was found to discredit the events as presented in the piece.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on. Schwach wanted to write a ortho-bashing article. so he did. how he got there didnt matter to him.

10:18 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

And let me be clear about something - I don't even think that fully discrediting these stories is even necessary to see the hate and bigotry in Mr. Scwach's piece. Had the stories actually happened as he said, his piece would still be hateful. Imagine if someone were to publish a long rant about how a different group of minorities were "bad neighbors", and used to bolster his story some accounts from the news of crimes committed by members of that minority group. Can you just imagine the hue and cry?

Why is it ok when it's about the Orthodox?

The fact that some of Mr. Schwach's story has been discredited is just gravy. The meat of this whole affair is his utterly transparent hate.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His whole premise from the start was very schwach.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On yom tov this year it was either pesach or shavout I forgot which. some kids were playing outside of the whilt shul and broke a widsheld of a passing car with a rock. The driver I seem to remember was a balck woman. Saying that we need to make a major communal effort about how we act shoul dbe ovious to nayone.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was passing through FR this morning and just HAD to but the latest issue of "The Wave"($0.35).
So far I have only glaced at it - but I did see a long letter to the editor complaining about the now infamous Shwach editorial.
Haven't read it yet but I suppose they should get SOME credit for publishing an opposing opinion.
Not sure if this can be accessed online bit worth checking out.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the story with the rock-throwing?

1:23 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

what about the story with the rock-throwing?

I think you're missing the point. Didn't the Star piece do enough to damage Schwach's credibility that a line by line refutation of each of his factual assertions is unnecessary? While the Star didn't rebut the rock throwing story (as if that's even possible), it demonstrated that Schwach has an obvious axe to grind that would have colored his perception of any event involving the orthodox.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the sharp critic who commented towards the end of the day yesterday on the first post about Schwach.

I have still another thing to add about Schwach being illiterate. They're not called the Irish "problems"; the correct term is the Troubles. The term refers to the sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestans in Ireland. The mistake is in his first paragraph, when he equates frum Jews with Nazis, Islamic terrorists, Crusaders, and Irish Republican Army terrorists.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Hallelukah!!! Irish Jew, you are absolutely correct. You have hit on the crux of the problem and--dare I say it--the pain. Underneath it all, not only do the Non-Orthodox and Non Jews not understand the Orthodox, but additionally when they see the cell phone talking drivers and the occasional incidents of rudeness, they are especially upset. We need to fix this internally. Mr. Schwach's diatribe may have been hateful, but it was merely a top coat of ugly paint on a home with foundational cracks. We have built this home ourselves and while it may not be a reflection of all of us, it is a growing problem as many Orthodox move more to the right and become more insular. Not all of us are spending any time with those who are not Orthodox and not all of us are giving any thought to what others think. Rabbi Blumenkranz's Z"TL used to speak of the importance of these things. BTW, we don't even mix with each other in these high density Orthodox populations. That's what is so wonderful about living out of New York. OM, I understand your need to address this immediate issue, but I think addressing the underlying one that Irish Jew has brought up will prove more productive to us and our neighbors. Perhaps, in another post?

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon mom, I can't understand what youre trying to say at all. first of all, this discussion isnt necessarily about our behavior, nor should it be. Schwack made is bigotry public. You looking for reasons why he might be entitled to be a bigot is ridiculous. Can you imagine the outcry if someone put an editorial in a paper criticizing a whole neigborhood of hispanics for a couple on incidents of individual hispanics who behaved badly? It would be huge.

of COURSE we have a responsibility to work on our behavior. Everyone does. But we will never, NEVER, be able to control every single individual in our community. Thats a sure thing. if you miss the point of why everyones so outraged over Shwachs article like this, you give people like him another opportunity to do it again.

whats clear now is that Schwack didn't just malign an entire group of people for individuals' actions, he was not even honest about those incidents.

dont be such a ghetto jew that you take your eye off the ball here.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom Said


Why is it ok when it's about the Orthodox?

It isn't okay. You have over 213 posts affirming that it isn't okay. And I'm sure that is all that is going to be done about it.

That doesn't make it okay, but it sure answers the question as to why it's done so often.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Anon 3:42,
I have been pretty clear about my thoughts on Schwach's article. Among my references were: "venomous tantrum", "hateful." I am not "looking for reasons why he might be entitled to be a bigot" as you accuse.
Now, pan out wide, do a zoom out and try, try, try to see the big picture here. I live in a place where the Non-Orthodox Jews and Non-Jews feel that the Orthodox have taken over. They are angry that we have contributed to the downfall of their public schools and that we have "slipped in" "our own" onto their school board. Some of ours are overdeveloping their green spaces and changing the look of their neighborhoods. Not all of us are polite. Why? Because they are Orthodox? A resounding NOOOOO. Some of us are not polite because they are mainly coming from high density Orthodox city neighborhoods and they act, dress, drive like city people. They are, for lack of a better term, p-ssing everyone off, including some of their fellow Orthodox Jews. So, all I am saying is that--yes, there are bigots out there and, boo hoo, that stings or rah, rah, that makes me mad--but, the bigger question, the bolder question, the--dare I say it--loftier question is how can we Orthodox Jews control our own people a little and ourselves, act in a way that inspires the possibility of admiration, possibly get to know our neighbors (sorry, but the more right wing Orthodox you are, the less likely you will get to know your non-Orthodox neighbors), and get a little less pushy about our taxes (even if it means a loss financially for us) and if we do need to fight for certain things, do so with a KIND EYE to our neighbors and walk that tightrope a bit more gingerly? One of "ours" on the school board immediately upon taking office called in public school support staff including custodians and asked them to share information about waste in the system. He is trying to not step on toes, which is almost impossible, but at least he is winning respect from some. My wish for all of you is less stir and drang, less rah rah stop attacking me rhetoric, and more humility, more introspection. Even if you aren't one of those who is p-ssing everyone off. Each of us represents the rest. That's how the cookie crumbles and the Yarmulka and fancy bandanna speaks. Get it, now?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE:

Anonymous Mom, like me or not all I can say about your post above is: BRAVO!! BRAVO!!!

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon mom, I think I don;t have to say more about your point than that a guy who calls himself anti-ortho thinks you're swell. Why don't you try looking up some of anti-orthos old comments. I think you'll be happy to be in such good company.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Oh, and one more thing. You said,
"dont be such a ghetto jew that you take your eye off the ball here."

I'm a pretty opinionated, cynical person, who absolutely, positively hates to be stepped on. I'm a letter to the editor-writing kind of gal. 7 years ago, I would have been the one going store to store disproving this guy's kindergarten tattletale of a rant, but you know what, I grew up a little. I got sad, not mad. And the ball I'm keeping an eye on is different than yours. Every freaking time I read a negative article about my people in the local paper (which is pretty often), I get frustrated and sad. I wish there was a way to launch an in house PR campaign on blogs, in print, in Shuls so we could try to get people to understand how important it is to walk tall and respectfully not walk in the streets (among other things) and to think before we push our agendas even if the law is on our side and rethink how we get things done. What is the way of the land? How does this play to others? That's where the negative energy boiling over in response to articles like Schwach's should be channeled. That is where it would be most PRODUCTIVE. That, my friend, for us Jews IS the ball! See the scale, which way is it tipping? Which is the more important side? The side carrying the issue of civil rights and accuracy in media or the side carrying "Light Unto the Nations?"

11:29 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

"Why don't you try looking up some of anti-orthos old comments. I think you'll be happy to be in such good company."

I'm familiar with all of them. And I hear it in spoken form where I live. What is the desired outcome here? To make clear that Schwach is wrong? Okay, fine. Make it clear. You guys seem to be doing that. What is the longterm goal? To pretend that the anti Orthos are all blowhards or to take a humble stand about some of their concerns and have an honest dialogue about it, which btw, some of you are doing, sort of? You can multitask, can't you? You can pooh pooh the haters and address the issues, no? The haters are going to hate you anyway. When your brother accidentally stomps on the neighbor's petunias while playing football and the neighbor calls him a dirty Jew, do you expend a lot of energy explaining how he isn't a dirty Jew or do you take your brother aside and tell him to be more careful and ask if he's done it before. If he hasn't, I'm pretty sure the neighbor still thinks he's a dirty Jew and if he has, then I guess he needs to be more careful (oh, and that particular neighbor will still think he's a Dirty Jew).

You're scared that all the anti Orthos are saying rah, rah. An anti-Ortho Ortho, coool. Be bigger than that.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon mom: you're DEAD wrong. DEAD. You will NEVER get every single member of your community to act the way you want them to. NEVER. You miss the more pressing opportunity here to teach right and wrong and tolerance.


This is about triage. You are failing at triage.

Om is the first to criticize within out community when warranted.

But, time and place. This is neither.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The haters are going to hate you anyway. When your brother accidentally stomps on the neighbor's petunias while playing football and the neighbor calls him a dirty Jew, do you expend a lot of energy explaining how he isn't a dirty Jew or do you take your brother aside and tell him to be more careful and ask if he's done it before. If he hasn't, I'm pretty sure the neighbor still thinks he's a dirty Jew and if he has, then I guess he needs to be more careful (oh, and that particular neighbor will still think he's a Dirty Jew)."

Um, both? But one is certainly far worse than the other? Which should be pretty clear to you?


Also, you have a poor grasp of metaphors. The difference here is that Shwach is being dishonest about the episode to begin with. So to relate it back to your story, what if you knew your brother never actually stepped on the petunias? Would you still pull him over because "other people sometimes step on petunias"? That's what you're doing here anon mom.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

If I hadn't said anything, if no one had said a word and you did your triage and you disproved his assertions in a vaccuum of silence, would the haters still hate? Would the patient still die of a long term illness? When would you suggest the right time be? Next week? Next year? You, my friend, are DEAD wrong. There is no right time to discuss these things and in this day and age there is no way to reach our people without some of the haters listening in. Unless you plan to go shul to shul carrying the message. You guys sound angry even when you respond to the posts knocking us. You just fight anger with anger. Your approach is wrong. Fight anger with calm dialogue. Try it. Some of you on here have been able to do it. The tone of the original post or a subsequent post could have been like some of the commenters.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You just fight anger with anger. Your approach is wrong. Fight anger with calm dialogue."

See, that's not what you're doing. If you were to calmly explain why Scwach can't be telling the truth or how he shows his bigotry, that would be appropriate dialogue. That's what OM did. You're changing the subject to something that Mr. Schwach hasn't addressed. It's unhelpful and doesn't deal with the problem at hand.

You seem to say there is no way to deal with the problem of people like Schwach. I think that's incredibly defeatist and I disagree.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Oy. I am not changing the subject. I said previously that his comments are painful. Underlying his inaccurate comments are feelings of resentment toward Orthodox Jews. You do at some point need to address those feelings because they are shared by many others who are not prepared to write the vitriol that he is, but who read this blog and comment angrily on it on this and other posts. You are absolutely ignoring their feelings by continuing to treat them like some bunch of math equations that need to be solved. I've been reading about the school board stuff. You guys keep missing the point. You keep spewing truths at the expense of getting to the underlying infection. But, go ahead. I'm a liberal arts major and a teacher and I can't win in a debate being waged with spreadsheets and just the facts maam, the stuff of accountants and lawyers. We really do speak a different language. I wish all of you well, though, even the haters.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are absolutely ignoring their feelings by continuing to treat them like some bunch of math equations that need to be solved. I've been reading about the school board stuff. You guys keep missing the point. You keep spewing truths at the expense of getting to the underlying infection."

The truth is objective. Hate is not. You can talk all you want, anon mom, but there are many people who will never get over their fear hate and suspicion of people who are different than them. Your tack is not one that will change things in this community.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

It changes things when you are willing to speak to people on their level about what is important to them. It does. It doesn't change everything and everyone, but it does make inroads. I have seen it in person. "The truth is objective." Yep. The truth shall set you free. Remember that the next time you tell your mother in law that she is an idiot for yelling at your kids. Mmm. Hmmm. There's a way to temper truth, you know. And, I get that you think I have no right to comment on your community. I've got plenty of friends and relatives in your community. I was in your Dunkin Donuts on the first Saturday night it became Kosher and was eating at your pioneer Kosher restaurants every Sunday night around 30 years ago. We agree that there will always be haters. I just choose to address the fencesitters, that's all. I'll go back to my corner now.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And, I get that you think I have no right to comment on your community"

That has nothing to do with this. I think your advice is unhelpful to this situation.

What are you even saying? You say we take over a community. Um, right. We make lots of kosher restaraunts. That's not going to change Nor should it. Thats the free market. Vendors cater to an community's clientele.

You are talking about us understanding people feeling that they don't like us being here. I don't think that's something anyone has to understand. People have to accept changes in neighborhoods.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

I agree about that last sentence, but--and I know it's self serving for me to ask this--you should reread my posts and those of some of the more soul-searching Orthodox commenters. You will see that I am not talking about all the kosher restaurants. That's not it. How about you answer me this:

If you are so concerned about objective truth, then why didn't OM just take a breath and get some evidence together first, then refute his statements point by point. It took only a couple of days to refute some of his more inflammatory statements. Why not take those days and post afterward just the facts as they are. Then as comments of all stripes come pouring in--some anti-Ortho--you all could try to address those point by point. Objectively, as you say.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
If you are so concerned about objective truth, then why didn't OM just take a breath and get some evidence together first, then refute his statements point by point. It took only a couple of days to refute some of his more inflammatory statements. Why not take those days and post afterward just the facts as they are. Then as comments of all stripes come pouring in--some anti-Ortho--you all could try to address those point by point. Objectively, as you say."

Om's first post was spot on and I applaud her for it. Shwach's editorial was unacceptable and had many obvious inaccuracies. Why wait for specific facts when it's clear to all that Shwach is an objective anti-semite?

You are missing the forest for the trees, anon mom. This man doesn't want you to improve our community person by person. He wants us out.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous confused said...

anonomom, I'd like to know what exactly you expect the community to be introspective about? And how do you tink it will prevent people like Howie Schwach from hating us?

1:11 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Was she or you having a personal conversation with the man? Or was the response and all the other indignant responses being viewed by thousands of other people? Was it just about him in a forum like this? And, I don't mean to villify OM. I understand the outrage at the inaccuracies, but those are the trees to me. Not the forest. I just think this is a platform. And you know in a classroom when a student misbehaves in a big way, a matter of fact response is the best response, but the way in which this is done is very important. All teachers know that they are playing to a bigger audience than just that student when they hand down the punishment. We always place more weight on how our choice of response will affect the class not the individual student who transgressed.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

"anonomom, I'd like to know what exactly you expect the community to be introspective about? And how do you tink it will prevent people like Howie Schwach from hating us?"

Reread my posts. You won't be so confused. Oh and part of this whole thing is that I don't care about Howie. Chances are I'm not gonna save Howie from himself.

I gotta go to sleep. Could you continue putting me in my place another time?

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" anonymous mom said...

Was she or you having a personal conversation with the man? Or was the response and all the other indignant responses being viewed by thousands of other people? Was it just about him in a forum like this? And, I don't mean to villify OM. I understand the outrage at the inaccuracies, but those are the trees to me. Not the forest. I just think this is a platform. "

First of all, he wrote this is a local paper with a wide circulation. One that is available in any local newstand or store. Why is it necessary to wait for a personal conversation? And how can you consider an editorial like that "a tree" in stead of the forest?

We aren't talking about a matter of fact "misbehavior" that warrants a matter of fact response. This was open anti-semitism.

You can choose not to be offended by Schwach using words about the Orthodox that would shock everyone in the US if he used them about Blacks or Hispanics. But don't you dare be self-righteous about MY right to assert my desire to have neighbors who are not openly intolerant of me.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Sorry, you said "people like Harry." I think a change in tone and a recognition about some faults on our parts would help. I saw a glimmer of it in some of your posters. I just think that the tone is super important. I have had wonderful back and forth dialogues with my anti-Ortho neighbors (don't ask how these came about) and I can't prove that I've "converted" them from being haters, but I can prove that I was the first person in these cases to speak openly with them about these issues and address some of their gripes.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous confused said...

"Reread my posts. You won't be so confused. Oh and part of this whole thing is that I don't care about Howie. Chances are I'm not gonna save Howie from himself."

Don't flatter yourself. I'm still confused after reading all of your posts. You may not think this is about Howie, but then what is this post about? It's about Howie and people like him who must be stopped from expressing open anti-semitism.

Save your sanctimony for a post when OM trashes her community. Oh, it will come. She always does. Wait for it. THEN you will be on-topic. You'll have a grand old time.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
I gotta go to sleep. Could you continue putting me in my place another time?"

Says she who has spent the better part of two days using an anti-semitic screed as an opportunity to put innocent Orthodox community members in their place. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Sleep well.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

"Why is it necessary to wait for a personal conversation?"

You don't have to wait for anything. You just have to have your audience in mind. I just feel that we are like Hebrew National here and we answer to a higher calling. The tone, the way some of the commenters responded, the anger. We don't have to be so angry. I don't think it gets us anywhere. But, if all you think you have to do in this world is say your peace and make clear to all what's right, then we have nothing to talk about.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" anonymous mom said...

Sorry, you said "people like Harry." I think a change in tone and a recognition about some faults on our parts would help. I saw a glimmer of it in some of your posters. I just think that the tone is super important. I have had wonderful back and forth dialogues with my anti-Ortho neighbors (don't ask how these came about) and I can't prove that I've "converted" them from being haters, but I can prove that I was the first person in these cases to speak openly with them about these issues and address some of their gripes. "

That's all fine, but when people do what Schwach did, it is the time for decisive action, not wishy-washiness. You deal with your neighbors as you wish. I think that's "super important". And then we'll deal with ours. I don't exactly see that you've solved your area's problems with your approach.

As a matter of fact, Schwach was someone who had a lot of dialogue with Orthodox Jews in his capacity as editor of a local paper. Many local Orthodox until recently considered him a friendly neighbor. So much for dialogue.

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We don't have to be so angry. I don't think it gets us anywhere. "

That's not how it works. People get angry when they are punched in the face. You make your own choices about anger management. No one ever said Orthodox Jews are not entitled to get angry when mistreated. My Rav disagreed with you completely, as a matter of fact. He was angry as any of the commenters here.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Anonymous said: "Says she who has spent the better part of two days using an anti-semitic screed as an opportunity to put innocent Orthodox community members in their place. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black."

So who is making inaccurate statements now? Who is making ugly, inaccurate statements now?

Why don't you reread my original four or five posts on the original thread and show them to your Rabbi? And also, no one is decrying your right to be angry, just your right to express it in print. You sound just like them. Like two kids quarreling in a school yard. It's hard to tell who is right. Oh while you are discussing this with your Rabbi, show him the posts of Irish Jew and others on the previous thread who recognize the need to have an aware dialogue with their neighbors here in this public forum. Show him the posts written by those Orthodox Jews who live out of New York. Show him the posts of Five Town Orthodox that present their side as they see it with humility and the desire to clarify. You are obviously too angry to notice those. Or mine for that matter.

You said "I don't exactly see that you've solved your area's problems with your approach."

So what problems have you solved with your approach?

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Mom: Your points and sentiments on this subject is well taken and appreciated. I gather you've touched a nerve here and people are looking at themselves and don't like what they see - or are too blind to see it in other ways. Keep it up. You have supporters here.

Anti-Ortho doesn't come out with some good points - so I don't routinely bash the person on EVERYTHING he/she has to say in these blogs.

Maybe we can take lessons we are learning here about bigotry, hate and rudeness and use these lessons to teach all of us about responding and looking at our family, friends, neighbors and the community with a touch of grace, compassion and CALLING THE POLICE WHEN A CRIME IS COMMITTED!

I don't ever guise crime and hate in the name of religion or hide behind my religion. I am too fundamental for that.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon mom, these kinds of problems can't usually be 'solved" in the classical sense. No one is going to make someone like Howard Schwach love Jews and change what are obviously deeply biased views regarding Jews.

And though I do respect your right to express your opinion, I have to concur with the above commenter or commenters. I just think your reaction is an unhelpful way to deal with such a hateful piece by one of our neighbors. There is certainly a time for measured dialogue. You are right about that.

But I can't see how this is that time. Howard Schwach is not the guy to dialogue with. He's a guy to discredit so that his vile views can't gain traction.

A few months ago there were some equally vile anti-Orthodox ads in a local newspaper. Om and many oters reacted with outrage. Many local non-Orthodox politicians then heard about the ads due to the uproar, and they swiftly came to the defense of the Orthodox community. Would these ads have been denounced as quickly had we not responded in anger? I don't think so. And I think that would have been a very bad precedent to set.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

"Howard Schwach is not the guy to dialogue with. He's a guy to discredit so that his vile views can't gain traction."

As I said before, Howard Schwach is not the only person reading these posts and comments. I am not denouncing a well-worded, objective rebuttal in this forum, in his publication, or in the other publications that have come out to correct the inaccuracies. I just think that we have a responsibility to be cautious in the tone of our comments at ALL times, especially times when many are looking at us and paying attention. And we have the additional responsibility as a Klal to do some introspection about what is fanning the flames of resentment. I have suggested OM do this in a later post. I have been pretty clear on my opinion that we will not be "solving" any of these problems today or tomorrow. What I would like to see from us is calm, dignified, unemotional dialogue at all times. If as Irish Jew and the Out of Town Jews point out we do not really have a structure which lends itself for these people to see the beauty of our lifestyle and if they do not on their own wish to make the effort to get to know the kindness,warmth, and good intentions of most of our people, then we must recognize that whatever we put out there should be above reproach. Otherwise, you have missed the point of the Galus. You have missed it entirely. You are emphasizing getting the truth out there. I say you should make that your concern, but your secondary concern. You should, because we are not about the here and now only, we are supposed to in all our actions be about meriting the Geulah, we should bear in mind the story of Bar Kamtza and Kamtza. It was not so much about who was right. Both parties acted poorly and caused untold pain. One of them--assuming that you believe this story--brought about death and destruction to his people. What is the moral of the story as every school child is taught? I think, once again, you are not seeing the greater potential here for healing and the greater potential for added ire and resentment. So, once again, temper your truths. Be aware in your comments, and address the bigger problem. Rabbi Blumenkrantz spoke of this responsibility of ours. I think that you think that they hate us because we are here en masse and that if and when we were a small minority, they could stomach it. You think the resentment stems from that. I do not. I think that some of it does, but not all.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What I would like to see from us is calm, dignified, unemotional dialogue at all times."

Then you really should not frequent blogs. Seriously. There's nothing wrong with expressing emotion.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think that you think that they hate us because we are here en masse and that if and when we were a small minority, they could stomach it. You think the resentment stems from that. I do not. I think that some of it does, but not all."

Of course it does. Do you know how many times it's been said out here that the Orthodox were ok until they took over? There was always a comfortable minority here. The complaining got out of hand when restaraunts started changing over and schools started emptying. And we have no responsibility to do anything about that.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Yeah, I think the whole out of control venting thing is overrated. Not all of the blogs are like that, though. You should take a little cybertrip around now and then.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" anonymous mom said...

Yeah, I think the whole out of control venting thing is overrated. Not all of the blogs are like that, though. You should take a little cybertrip around now and then. "

"out of control venting"? Is that what you think this blog is? Maybe YOU should take a little cybertrip. This place seems about as civil as can be.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, all this is supposing that you beleive that Mr. Fertig is telling the truth....... and we all know what an honest reporter he is ..... LOL

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about Howie and people like him who must be stopped from expressing open anti-semitism.

You're better off with the ones who are open about it. At least you know where they stand. The ones who smile, keep quiet yet will stab you in the back are the ones to watch out for.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the "Out of Left Field" Depaertment.

Did anyone hear about this ban on attending concerts? Someone said Rabbi Weinberger at Sharaay talked about it on Shabbat.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ban from going to concerts? Wouldn't it depend on what kind of concert it was?

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not from what I heard. It's a ban that might even affect all girls choruses singing to an auditorium of only women.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we talking about this? This is not the proper forum for this discussion.
Anon Mom - Please post another melodramatic rant so we can get back on course!!

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, can't you see that hanging Mr. Schwach out to dry with repeated posts about how OR thinks he's a bigoted hack is what's at stake here? Let's have a few more. The dead horse needs to get beaten some more.

Frankly, I welcome a change of topic.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon Mom makes some excellent points, and it's unfortunate that so many posters seem too blinded with well-deserved anger at Shwach to appreciate those points.

We should all be outraged by the bigotry expressed by Shwach. But we also need to be better neighbors, and realize that just because we are are starting to outnumber the old demographic doesn't mean we have to do it with a swagger and a figurative flip of the bird to everyone in our way.

It's kind of like when you're driving a car without a license and then someone rear-ends you. Sure, it's the other guy's fault, but you weren't exactly in the right either.

Pointing out that Shwach is in the wrong is an important step, but so is evaluating our own behavior and taking pains to make sure that we're not also in the wrong, even a little.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Does the discussion this has evolved into strike anyone as being quite ironic. OM frequently posts about shortcomings in the Five Towns frum community, and is often lambasted for it in the comments. In this instance, confronted by an anti-orthodox biased and prejudiced rant in a local "paper," she took the author to task. For this, she is being hit for not calling the Five Towns frum community to task too. Why should she have? When shortcoming in the Five Towns frum community bother OM, that is what she posts about, when a prejudiced piece of drivel is printed, OM posts about that. Makes sense to me.
As to the issue of rudeness etc., on the part of members of the Five Towns frum community, I agree that it is a major issue. Indeed, my Rabbi, Rabbi Billet, has spoken about the issue, from the pulpit, on multiple occasions. The discussion thread to this particular post, however, does not seem to me to be the appropriate forum for discussing the issue as it seems to somehow lend legitimacy to the anti-orthodox diatribe about which OM intially posted. No matter how rude some members of the Five Towns frum community might be, it cannot excuse the prejudiced drivel that were the topic of OM's last two posts.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"It's kind of like when you're driving a car without a license and then someone rear-ends you. Sure, it's the other guy's fault, but you weren't exactly in the right either."

It's like what???? What does one have to do with the other?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, it's the other guy's fault,

What kind of sexist nonsense is this? Other "guy's" fault?!!

Who said it was a guy? It could have been a gal, but I'll bet almost anything it was someone Orthodox. Worst drivers ever!!

Just kidding but I couldn't resist.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A better analogy: It's like when you are sometimes rude to a guy, so he poisons you. OK, you were rude sometimes -everyone is sometimes rude. But for heaven's sake, the other guy POISONED you. Now is not the time to discuss your occassional rudeness . . .

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE:

Anonymous mom, my deepest apology if it was my comments that has brought on this non stop attack on you. My intention as always is not to spread hate. The problem is that both sides see everything in black and white with no gray areas. As you have said the ortho community has every right to move in open stores and resturants that cater to their people. Non orthos do not have to shop or eat in these places as the orthos do not have to in non kosher places. But to move in to a neighborhood and expect the people living there to have to accept all the changes without exception is foolish, changes have to be accepted on both sides. The orthodox come with the attitude that we have to accept all of their changes like it or not. They use their religon as a basis for this attitude and back it with an extreme arrogance against anyone who speaks out against it. Time and time again I watched and listened in school board meetings and read letters to local papers,of people being attacked for not agreeing with everything the orthos want, non ortho jewish people being called anti semitic. The orthos have been the most unflexible people I have ever seen it is always their way or be attacked. Of course I mean verbally and in written words not physically, because of their wide use of semantics I must make that clear. Now I know that the non orthos can be just as arrogant and unflexible it's just human nature for every group of people to have that. But I have yet to see the orthodox be willing to acknowledge any views but their own to be right, or I should say some of them do acknowledge the other views but would not give in to them. They say their religon will not allow it. Now you can say I am wrong and I will admit that my blogs or rants as they are called are very strong and tilted in one direction but this is what my feelings have evolved into over the course of time. I have never felt this way until faced with this attitude and arrogance. My use of the anti ortho lable and my blogs have been for the purpose of trying to open eyes in the ortho community, sometimes people need to get hit with a stick to wake them up. Of course I do not mean that as an act of violence as I have stated I do no condone any form of violence. anyway sorry anon mom if i brought this diatribe against you you seem to be very thoughtful and do not deserve this treatment

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me both sides of the matter were cleared up when HALB tried to build a Yeshiva in the back of Lawrence in an area that had been zoned double residential. Through surreptitious means they bought a property and tried, very quietly to turn it into a school.

That was pushy, sneaky and downright wrong. The people of Lawrence, through the zoning board had done everything to guarantee the peace and tranquility of that part of Lawrence but the supporters of the idea wanted the school and because it was going to be a religious school they demanded the right to build it--freedom of religion and all that.

On the other side, HALB was interested in the Lawrence Country Day School in Hewlett Neck to create a high school for girls. There were some very angry letters to the editor about this. Now, in this case the angry people were dead wrong. It had already been a school and now it was going to be a school again so the only objection possible was based on the fact that it was going to be a school for the Orthodox. There was no argument for any danger or disruption to the harmony of the area. After all, high school girls of any persuasion can be a bit much to take but most Orthodox teenage girls I know are respectful and well-behaved--at least in public.

The back Lawrence push was defeated after much wrangling and the supporters found a property near #6 School for their high school--an area that already has its share of bus traffic and activity.

The fact that the Orthodox even tried to put a school where they knew no one wanted it was very telling. That was arrogance and it caused the Orthodox community a lot of bad press, which is unfortunate because most of the Orthodox people I talked to about it also thought it was a bad idea.

The SKA situation showed non-Orthodox sentiment for what it was--a knee jerk reaction to the changing demographic. There wasn't a problem with a school there at all, but if the Orthodox were for it then a lot of people were going to be against it for that reason alone.

There is no answer for this. It's good to talk, write letters to the editor, even write anti-semitic diatribes if it makes you feel better and prevents you from doing something really stupid. But common decency suggests that it might be better to destroy these things once they're written because of that all but forgotten truism "of the unspoken word you are the master, of the spoken word you are the slave."

Good luck all. We're going to need it.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE:

Anon 5:48 Nice post it gets right to the point of the need to have a gray area on both sides.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me again why the Five Towns are considered so great? Everything I read here and elsewhere makes me feel like it wouldn't be such a pleasant area to live. I grew up on Long Island but it sounds like a very different Long Island.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the five towns are not so great,,,it is just a ghetto with lots of people who think their version of judaism is the "right" one and, G-d forbid, they have any dealings with the "other" people-jew or gentile.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's exactly what it sounds like.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am confused as to why the term ghetto is being used.....racial?

8:08 PM  
Anonymous just my 2 cents said...

i dont know where you live, but i live in a beautiful neighborhood called cedarhurst. in my neighborhood, there is a great deal of friendliness. people of all types of persuasions say hello to one another and even have lunch together. i see all types of people shopping in the same stores, eating in the same restaurants, walking down the same streets, and i dont see the hate and anger that i am hearing now on this blog.

i think that a lot of what i hear are isolated incidents that dont reflect the majority of the people and the views of the five towns.

just my 2 cents.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:08:

A dictionary -- use one.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
i am confused as to why the term ghetto is being used.....racial?

8:08 PM

i guess you never took history in High school...you are probably a yeshiva boy....didnt you learn about the Warsaw Ghetto.. the lomza ghetto the lodz ghetto?? Racial overtones are a recent definition of ghetto... jews have been " ghetto" prior to WWII. please study before you speak.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the dictionary site I checked, the third definition given was that it is a place where a lot of Jews live. Don't try to start a fight over absolutely everything, anonymous 8:08.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous ortho-man said...

After monitoring and commenting here for over a week I really feel like something positive finally occurred on this blog tonight at 4:33.
Anti-Ortho:
Some of your comments over the past week have been extremely (and unnecessarily) inflammatory, vicious, prejudicial and sometimes downright hateful (certainly hurtful and insulting).
It was the tone of your comments most (and the boldness of your "anti-ortho" name) that made me feel that this was a hopeless cause - an unsolvable problem.
So, it is with great pleasure that I read your comments earlier this evening. I really appreciate your attempt to change your previous tone - of only defiance and anger - and try to find some middle ground.
Seriously, it has given me new hope.
Look, no one is perfect and certainly no group of individuals is. We all need to try our best to see a given issue through the eyes of "the other side". We need to see other people's perspectives. This approach is not only more honorable and respectful - in the end, people will be more willing to agree to your position if you at least genuinely respect theirs.
The issue here, however, - Shwach's disgusting piece - is not something to be "fair minded" or "understanding" about. It was vicious and should not be tolerated by the orthodox community or any other for that matter.
Bottom line - thank you for your attempt at finding some middle ground. Would you please also consider a name change? -it is very hurtful to see a name that represents the rejection of an entire group of mostly good family people.
Thanks. I sincerely hope we can build on this.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a group hug?

Anybody?

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, a GROUP HUG is what we all need on this blog. Too many feathers flying for the most part.

Can't we all just get along???

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A group hug until the next post, where we start fighting again? OM complains about something the increasingly stringent Orthodox are doing, everyone jumps in and defends it or condemns it. Fights ensue. OM complains about something the non-Orthodox (in the Five Towns or elsewhere) are doing, everyone jumps in and defends it or condemns it. Fights ensue. Lather rinse repeat.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE:

ORTHO-MAN I have been trying to find middle ground with you orthodox for a long time without success which is the reason for the tone of my comments. Not to fan the flames of hatred but to try to open eyes in your community that they need to not only acknowledge but to respect the views and positions of the non orthos. Of course I an aware that there are a great many orthodox people who are not like the people that I rant about, it's just that people like yourself and anonymous mom seem to be outnumbered by the arrogant one sided people who cause the anger. I also agree that Shwach's piece was disgusting, as a person who originally came from Rockaway and reads his paper I have known since before he took over as editor and was just a writer that he is a boorish moron. I can live with people of any race or religon, growing up in Arverne that was the way we lived and it was great. But just by reading all the blogs that have been posted here preceeding the school board elections and on other issues you can see the attitude that I refer to. I am not talking about responses to my blogs which I expected to be strong, but attacks of jew on jew by orthos for not falling in line with their point of views is as disgusting as Shwach's diatribe nevermind the attacks on non jews. I appreciate your comments and I am sorry that my comments and name are hurtful but until attitudes change this is my way of pushing back until we can all find and live in that middle ground we need to be in
SHALOM

10:57 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Anti Ortho, I appreciate your comment at 4:33. I think you and I share something and it is not what others think. Like you, I do not see these blogs as sport. I also don't see them first and foremost as merely a forum for venting anger and/or reporting of fact. I see them as an amazing opportunity for dialogue between people who would not normally engage with each other in dialogue. Does that mean it will never get angry? No, of course not. But, inciting anger is not the only way to get people to wake up as you mentioned was your goal. I think often times it is counterproductive. Does it mean that the blogs should not be used to clear up misrepresentations and report fact? No. They most definately should. But, it should not end there. Do blogs have a conscience? I think Jewish blogs should. Thanks for the tempered response, Anti. That's all I was asking of the others. Ortho-man, good post, good sentiments. And to the mockers, mockery is ugly in person and it is ugly in print, even on a blog. It's also kind of a waste of time. It comes off especially Junior Highish in print and I should know. In a couple of weeks, I'll be spending a few hours a day teaching that population and you'll be hearing from me less. To all, please indulge me with reading my next comment which briefly, dryly (nod to the accountants, lawyers, and OM who has been silent of late and seems to like to cut to the chase) clarifies the issues at stake here. The majority of commenters including the author of this blog are missing the point. No emotions, no parables to follow, I promise.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

The big four:

1. There are those within the non-Ortho camp who resent the Orthos. Some express this resentment with ugliness and/or ignorance in different forms. Some do not, but harbor ill feelings.

2. When the Orthos become the majority in a community such as this one, they affect the schools and issues in local government. A civic-minded bunch on the whole, they choose to exercise their rights to bring certain issues to the table, to address certain issues, to vote on certain issues, and to represent themselves. How they choose to do so, how they choose to conduct themselves in government and local school affairs is key to how they will be received by the vast majority of natives of the location. There will always be those that will oppose their initiatives, and there will be antisemitism, but not all the natives will respond in anger and blind disapproval if they feel their concerns were heard and addressed properly.

3. Some members of the Ortho population can be rude and cityish in their behavior which can be off-putting to the Non-Orthos. This can be said of all city people who flock to suburban locations whether they are Ortho or not. Down South, there is great resentment being bred for the city folk, many of whom are "Yankees" who are moving down. That has nothing to do with Orthodox people.

4. Orthodox Jews have customs and practices that are not widely understood and some segments of the Ortho population are more insular than others so there is a lack of understanding going both ways.

#1 is something that needs to be addressed, but should be of secondary concern.

#2 is only rarely addressed and I have yet to see it properly addressed here. #2 is key to the reception of the natives of the Orthos and there should be more battles lost in the name of peace and respect in this area than the Orthos wish to accept. That does not mean every battle should not be fought and every battle should be lost, but the Orthos need to pay much greater heed to issues of local government and schools and how they discuss them.

#3 should be addressed in-house and should be acknowledged publicly even in this forum. If it is an issue, a concern of the natives, then it should be open for discussion--politely. It is, however, of secondary importance to #2.

#4 is more the responsiblility of the natives. While the Orthodox lifestyle may not be the chosen one for everyone in the community and may seem to some as archaic and silly, it is a family lifestyle and is populated--for the most part--by law-abiding and civility-seeking citizens who follow the tenets of their faith with great emphasis on kindness and respect. The individual abhorrations stand out because they are so unusual. The insularity of some should not be seen as arrogance as is often the case here on this blog and in other forums. That is a false assumption. But here is the problem that I see as the winner for "most ignored" by this blog:

The arrogance that is stereotypically assigned to the Orthos can be seen with regard to #2 and should be addressed and controlled sooner than later. How initiatives are presented, argued about, and discussed on this blog and in other places should be reassessed.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE:

ANON MOM Excellent post I just hope you do not get ripped apart again for trying to be a voice of reason. I agree that anger can be counterproductive and it is not my goal to incite anger. I have been trying to use anger on my part as a tool to show the orthodox what their attitude brings people to. When faced with people who time after time refuse to acknowledge the rights and views of other people, human nature can take over and the results can get ugly as history shows us. Because of people such as yourself, ortho-man and others I have had dialog with I am going to once again dial down my anger and try to find that middle ground we need to be in. But one thing Anon mom your #1 point is not one sided there are also those in the ortho camp who resent the non ortho and show their resentment with the same ugliness and/or ignorance as the non orthos as you said something that needs to be adressed. Ortho-man I will work on the name and get back to you. As the kids say PEACE OUT

7:44 PM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

Amen.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous ortho-man said...

Anti:
Once again, I appreciate your moderate and thoughtful comments.
I was a disappointed by your earlier decision to maintain your "Anti" identity. But your more recent decision to seek a new name has again given me renewed hope that we all - both sides- can figure out how to get along if only we calm down and TALK to each other in a calm and respectful manner - and try to see both sides of a given issue.
May I be so bold as to suggest a new name for you?
Instead of "Anti Ortho" how about "Ortho Lover"?
: )
No? Too soon?
Well ... Just a suggestion!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too funny! It's about time we have a bit of levity on the OM posts. We're so busy digging trenches to throw people in, we forget about the lighter things in life.

Good going!

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ortho-man It's a little too soon for your suggestion I was thinking of.....
" Trying not to be Anti Ortho" for now. What do you think? A good first step? I am also glad to see that there has not been any negative reactions to Anon mom's excellent post.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, it's amusing to me that if I say I disagree with anon mom, you call it an attack, whereas her post was disagreeing with OM and others, and it's not an attack? Disagreement doesn't equal attack people. We are all just as entitled to disagree with anon mom and you as you are entitled to disagree with OM and me.

Get over yourselves. You aren't objectively right here.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous ortho-man said...

Anon 7:59:
Disagreement is 100% "kosher" (with vaad supervision of course!) On this blog. What I think is unhealthy is the tone of some of the posts here - especially from people who can not properly articulate.
The end result is often a sloppy, angry note that does not make much sense but ends up pissing off a whole lotta people in an unproductive way.
To be clear, I disagreed with anon mom too - especially her original few comments which SEEMED to suggest that "if only we orthodox behaved better people like Shwach would like us more" (not saying that's what you meant - only that that's what everyone who read your comments THOUGHT you meant).
Where I DO agree with her (kind of sort of) is that it IS important to see both sides on all of these hot topics.
Even just some honest acknowledgment - "I understand why you feel this way but I disagree and here's why" - can go a long way.
Mutual respect is the goal here.
TRYING NOT TO BE ANTI ORTHO - doesn't exactly roll of the tongue does it ... Back to the drawing board my friend.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disagreements are one thing but when the tone becomes vicious and nasty it becomes an attack

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is what happened in a Brooklyn Dunkin Donuts on Avenue J:

The rabbis were a pain in the ass with the store owner demanding that he shut down and kashered the store microwave (what, putting an electronic device in water? stupid rabbis) which of course is untenable for business. So the rabbis took away the kosher certification and now you religious jews lost a place to get dunkin donuts in the middle of a religious neighborhood!

LOOSERS!!!

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